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UN experts highlight multilateralism and right to development in fight against COVID-19

(Xinhua)    11:21, December 04, 2020

A group of UN human rights experts on Thursday emphasized that it is critically important for countries to strengthen and renew their commitment to multilateralism to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and address the development setback in its aftermath.

In a joint statement marking the 34th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, the experts said that defeating the pandemic in a single country is only the beginning of a solution, and recovery can only be efficient if all states work together in a spirit of true multilateralism.

"The world is facing a truly global challenge -- and a fragmented approach to dealing with the virus has proved inadequate and harmful to health and economies alike, as well as development and enjoyment of human rights," they said.

Noting that major multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization have been weakened and ignored in recent years, the experts urged governments across the world to work in solidarity to ensure a coordinated equitable response to the pandemic.

"States must cooperate in a spirit of strengthened and renewed multilateralism, if they are to minimize the development setback and to salvage the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," read the statement.

The Declaration on the Right to Development was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 4, 1986.

During the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in September this year, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva Chen Xu also urged the international community to uphold multilateralism, strengthen unity and address global challenges together.

In a statement delivered on behalf of a group of like-minded countries on the second day of the session, Chen called upon the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to treat all human rights on an equal footing and to take more substantive actions on mainstreaming of the right to development.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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